DIY Repurposing

14 New Things You Can Do with an Old Sweater

Before sending a bag of old sweaters to the thrift store, try repurposing them in creative new ways.

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Felted Wool Blanket

What could be more snuggly than a blanket made entirely of sweaters? To create this patchwork piece, Yellow Suitcase Studio sewed squares of felted sweaters together, adding decorative stitching along the edges. The blanket is perfect for cozy movie nights, but it also makes a heartwarming gift.

Related: 10 Life-Changing Buys to Help You Survive Winter Mornings

Pouf Ottoman

A pouf is ideal for kicking up your feet and relaxing. When you combine a thrift store sweater with an insert made from fabric and polyester fiberfill, a versatile DIY ottoman can be yours for little cost and not much time at all.

Related: Double-Duty Furniture: 9 Affordable Favorites That Save Space

Dryer Balls

An eco-friendly alternative to fabric softener, dryer balls can help your clothes dry faster while reducing wrinkles. Make your own version using the wool from old sweaters, and you’ll get fresher clothes for free.

Related: 9 Things You Didn’t Know Dryer Sheets Can Do

Decorative Pillows

Sweater-covered pillows make couches even cozier. To create your own pillowcase, cut your sweater to the proper size using a pillow for reference. Turn the pieces inside out and stitch them together, leaving just enough room to slip the pillow inside before sewing the case closed. Then, add buttons or other embellishments to dress up your cozy new cushion.

Related: 10 Mini Makeovers You Can Do in Minutes

Cozy Mittens

A fresh pair of warm mittens is just what Old Man Winter ordered! Outline your hands in chalk around the bottom edge of a sweater to create a custom mitten pattern. Cut out the pieces, turn them inside out, and sew them together. Keep a pair in every coat pocket so you’re never stuck without gloves again. 

Related: Say Hello to Fall with 21 Quick and Easy DIYs

iPhone or iPad Case

Protect your tech gadgets from chilly temperatures by dressing them in cases made from felted sweaters. Sewing a simple pocket for your iPhone, iPad, or e-reader is quick and easy. Plus, the results are adorable! 

Related: 10 Money-Saving Gadgets That Pay for Themselves

Felted Coasters

This winter, set your warm beverages down on a soft coaster of felted wool. Any wool sweater can be felted by washing it in hot water and running it through the hottest setting on your dryer. Cut the sweater to size, then make yourself a cup of hot cocoa to test out your new coaster.

Related: Bob Vila’s Best DIY Projects for Beginners

Festive Wreath

Cut and sew an old sweater around a wreath form to craft a joyful decoration for your front door. This DIY wreath is a fashionable alternative to the natural evergreen variety, and it will still look appropriate after the holidays.

Related: 12 Totally Unexpected Ways to DIY a Holiday Wreath

Christmas Stocking

This Christmas, deck the halls with DIY stockings made from repurposed sweaters. Use an existing stocking as reference for the pattern, then cut an old sweater to size and sew the pieces together. Embellish your creation with some ribbon and you have the perfect holiday decoration.

Related: Bob Vila’s Guide to “$30 and Under” Stocking Stuffers

Pom-Pom Hat

If you have an old sweater, a sewing machine, and an hour to spare, you can make yourself a new pom-pom hat with scissors, yarn, and cardboard. After yours is done, score yourself some thrift store sweaters and create a hat for everyone in the family.

Related: 23 Brilliant Hacks to Help You Weather Winter

Sweater Sleeve

Effortlessly dress up candles and vases for any season with homemade sweater sleeves. Even a DIY beginner can take on this project, which involves little more than cutting and hot-gluing pieces of fabric together. 

Related: 10 Easy DIY Candles for a Festive Season

Wrist Warmer

A wool or cashmere sweater that’s taken an accidental trip through the laundry
machine may seem like a hopeless case, but the shrunken and frayed fabric can still be salvaged. By cutting off the sweater’s sleeves and adding a little crocheted edging, you can make adorable DIY wrist warmers. The cozy creations are perfect for cold mornings and stormy evenings.

Related: 9 Smart Hacks for Laundry Day

Coffee Cozy

To keep your fingers burn-free while you sip on piping hot beverages this winter, make a DIY cozy. Cut a sweater sleeve to a length of about five inches, add some liquid seam sealant for a neat edge, and sew on some buttons. Your coffee cup never looked so cute!

Related: 21 Coffee Bars to Put Pep in Your Home Design

Knit Lampshade

Add a bit of coziness to any corner by updating an old lampshade with a “new” knit cover. Simply slip a sweater over the shade, cut it to size, and hot-glue it in place.

Related: 15 “Under $100” Lighting Solutions for Every Room